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Compassion Fatigue

by: Ellene Meece

Compassion and Empathy are good character traits, right? Being a dedicated care-giver for a loved one is notable isn't it? Feeling someone else's pain (weeping with those who weep) is Biblical, true?

However, there's a form of stress and burn out currently being identified and treated as "compassion fatigue" and it's serious.

Those who suffer from it are generally individuals who are designated care givers or human service professionals or those who simple face daily heart wrenching, emotional challenges. Eventually, this secondary trauma will take it's toll on those who, simply put, care.

How can we offer our support and compassion without being sucked into the depths of negative emotions until we are numb, or ill ourselves or completely apathetic to the needs around us?

Blaine and Tracy Scott, Personal Development Coaches with Steadfast Steeds Mustang Horse Sanctuary, offer these tips to regaining our peace and releasing stress:

"Balloon breathing 4x4: slowly inhale 4 seconds, then exhale 4 seconds. Do this four times.

Accelerated Serenity: While doing 4x4 breathing, recall a positive situation and identify the emotion attached with it. By infusing positive emotions while breathing, you can quickly regain a mindful peace.

Positive feelings give the message that we've made a good choice, taken the right path, reached a satisfying resolution, glimpsed an innovative solution, or sense our true calling. They can be helpful to empower us through significant challenges.

Like a rest stop water break on a challenging hike, pause a few minutes to stop and take off the heavy backpack of fatigue and stress.

Ask these questions: What are some heavy feelings and thoughts that I can release to relieve my burden? What feelings and thoughts can I reclaim to increase my joy, hope and energy?"

We know that substituting positive for negative is invigorating. So, why not take the troubled situations around us and ponder God's words?

Listen to Him say, "My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." (John 14;27)

Declare His protection, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not lack for anything. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life..." Psalm 23: 1-3a

Claim His deliverance, "You have delivered me from the strivings of the people..."

Compassion is a gift from God. Compassion Fatigue is a result of the enemy twisting caring into personal trauma. As we allow God to validate and heal our grief, carry our burdens and protect us from becoming a human savior, we can be free to give on a level of compassion that truly reaches hurting people.



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